Preparing yourself for retirement

How to prepare your thoughts, feelings and emotions for the next phase in your life.

Many people look forward to this and welcome retirement as a chance to do the things they have been dreaming about and a rest after a long career.

For some it may have come a bit early due to age restrictions at your place of work or ill health. For everyone there is likely to be a mixture of feelings and thoughts as you start on this new venture into uncharted territory.

How much money will you need to retire?

Planning is key

As with any new stage, planning often helps a smooth transition from the old to the new. There are many areas of pre-retirement to consider. It is necessary to prepare both personally and practically.

Preparing ourselves properly for anything new takes a bit of effort, and commitment. Spending a little time on planning now will set you up for a fun retirement with lots of gains.

Without planning, you may well fall into old traps and have to use more energy to get back into control at a later date.

Take a moment; cast yourself back to when you started work.

  • What did you think about retirement?

  • Was it something that happened to 'old people' and not to someone like you?

  • Did you see a small, frail, uncertain person who sits in front of the TV until bed before ten?

  • Or did you see someone still full of energy, generally fit and with many aspirations?

Many of us retain outdated and stereotypical images based on our childhood views and find it a shock to realise that we are now at that stage; we certainly don't feel how we imagined we would.

Prepare your relationship for retirement.

Age is just a number

Most of us feel 18 and full of energy inside even if it doesn't quite fit with what we see in the mirror.

Feeling good about yourself and your achievements and your ability to manage new challenges is essential if you are going to make the most of this phase.

If you have a negative view take a look at yourself and your friends and decide if it really fits. Think of all the people in the media, well into their sixties, with very active lives.

Not just celebrities, however: there have been cases of a 92 year old who entered the Guinness World Records book as the oldest person to abseil and an 88 year old who finished a degree.

It is useful to discard any outdated views as these will lead to you feeling bad about yourself and stop you setting out into this new phase of life positively and successfully.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.